Sixty-third Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa

2 – 6 SEPTEMBER 2013 | Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

At the 63rd WHO Regional Committee meeting for Africa, ministers of health endorsed a resolution committing to take a life course approach to women's health. This resolution, based on the recommendations of the Commission on Women's Health in the African Region report entitled 'Addressing the Challenge of Women's Health in Africa', also addresses social, economic and environmental determinants that prevent improved health outcomes.

During the session, Member States highlighted the importance of increasing access to education for young girls, creating an enabling legislative environment that prevents early marriage and providing women with control of their sexual and reproductive health. Ministers also stressed the role of greater male involvement in improving women's health outcomes and pointed to the need for a cross sectoral approach to improving women's and children's health.

This resolution is one in a series of recent events that demonstrate the continent's commitment to the health of women and children.

Background

The Regional Committee, comprising health ministers from 47 Member States, is the Governing Body of WHO in the African Region. Its purpose is to set policy and approve the budget and programme of the work of WHO in the Region.

The Commission on Women's Health in the African Region is led by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and was launched in 2010. It consists of 16 health leaders, ambassadors and experts from Africa and has a mandate to generate evidence on the role of improved women's health in development.

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